Newspaper Article

October 13, 2018

"It's Time to Do Spiritual Battle"

Sometimes I like to write about the antics of my grandchildren. However, as hard as it might be for some people to picture, I was once a cute little kid myself. The story is told about a time when my dad was playing around, crawling along on his hands and knees chasing me through the house. At one point I found myself cornered in the living room as my dad was drawing close. In desperation I held up my hand toward him while yelling, "Un-gaw-wa!" Apparently I had been watching some Tarzan movies and was imitating what that jungle hero sometimes did. He would give a similar command to charging elephants or ferocious lions, causing them to stop in their tracks or to retreat in a different direction. In my case, I understand that it worked. My dad stopped and fell over in the floor laughing at what I had done.

Maybe there are times when we feel similarly oppressed or trapped as the evil in today's world rages and closes in on us. We're cornered by the hostility of an ungodly society. We shine the light of truth and holiness into our environment and people lash out at us because of what it reveals about themselves, their behaviors, and their hearts. It's becoming a dangerous jungle for those who dare to stand up for truth and righteousness.

While we may not have the power of a Tarzan to turn aside menacing beasts, we do have the authority of Christ to do battle against spiritual evil. The Bible tells us to "resist the devil and he will flee from you" (James 4:7). Jesus showed us through His experience in the wilderness how to use scripture to defeat Satan when we are tempted. Jesus also used His authority as the Son of God to tell Satan, "Away with you!" (Matthew 4:10) and "Get behind Me!" (Matthew 16:23.

Christ gave similar authority to His followers. He has given us armor to withstand the attacks of our spiritual enemies (see Ephesians 6:10-18). In the face of evil in our day, we don't have to cower in fear or let ourselves be overrun by the strengthening forces of wickedness. We need to remember and trust in the wonderful truth that "He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world" (I John 4:4).

The atmosphere surrounding us calls us to be involved in spiritual warfare. When we hear such concepts, some of us may recoil as we have seen people take such ideas to extremes or associate them with people who were involved in other practices with which we take issue. However let's not allow those factors to cause us to miss an important truth. We need to be standing up to the evil in our day, doing battle through prayer, resisting and rebuking Satan, and making good use of the sword of the Spirit or the Word of God.

However let's be careful to guard against pride or seeing ourselves as the source of victory. We don't undertake such action in our own power and strength. We don't have the ability or the authority in ourselves. It's only through Jesus, in His name, and with His authority that we can successfully call on evil to stop or retreat.

Will you commit yourself to becoming a soldier in the spiritual warfare that is needed today? Will you give yourself more fully to prayer - the kind of prayer that acknowledges the evil in our day and stands against it in the name of Jesus? Spiritual wickedness is stalking us - fight against it with the power and authority of Christ.